October 14, 2023
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Before I begin, I would also like to acknowledge that we gather on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people, who for thousands of years have cared for and protected our land and our waters.
I’m so pleased that we are here to rededicate this monument and mark the 100th anniversary of the Naval Reserve.
Fifty years ago, my predecessor, the Right Honourable Roland Michener, unveiled the Naval Reserve Monument. Much has happened in the intervening years. Our country has evolved and has been marked by so many events.
Monuments like these are markers of the passage of time—they make us pause and reflect, if only for a moment, about what is important in our country.
Canadians have always answered the call to service—that fact is important and valued. And this service takes on many forms.
The plaque on this memorial reminds us that Naval reservists are “twice the citizen,” with one foot in civilian life and one foot in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Over the last century, Canada has called on you in times of war and in times of crisis. You have also been called in times of peace, to provide support for a range of Canadian Armed Forces’ operations.
Every time you have been called upon, you have risen to the occasion. Let me give just a few examples.
During the Second World War, reservists fought in the Battle of the Atlantic.
More recently, during the pandemic, naval reservists served in long-term care facilities.
And in the years in between, reservists have been there for Canadians, supporting communities through natural disasters and tragic events.
All of you have sacrificed to perform your duties, and we are grateful for all that you have done, continue to do and will do in the future.
Your work is not easy, and I recognize the difficulty—both to you and to your families—whether you serve full time, or serve in the evenings, on weekends, in the summer, sometimes at a moments’ notice.
I am proud of your efforts. Canadians are proud. And they are grateful.
This monument, which stood at the fiftieth anniversary of the Naval Reserve, now stands as a testament to one hundred years of service.
As we mark this milestone occasion, I can only end by saying thank you to all those who have served as Naval reservists over the past century. May your commitment to service be an example to all those who follow in your footsteps.